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Comics in Class: How Comic Books Benefit Learning

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Many people enjoy reading comic books and binging on comic book movies during their free time. It’s one of those hobbies one picks up as a kid. What most people, including educators and students, don’t know is that this hobby can play a role in education as well. 

Comic books can be an invaluable teaching technique in the classroom, whether in elementary, middle, or high school. Unfortunately, their potential value in learning is not widely known with most people regarding them as merely superficial stories. Some of the advantages that comic books bring to education include the ones highlighted below.

They Increase Motivation Among Learners

When teaching literature, the learning experience is as good as the text used. That is to say, the literary works/ pieces of text used as context should be motivating and exciting to the students. When the students enjoy what they are reading, it is easier for them to understand the vocabulary, sentence structuring, phrases, etc. 

In contrast, however, students are often exposed to materials that they find outdated, tedious, and unrelatable. As a result, they only acquired superficial comprehension of the text and cannot correctly critique it. The remedy is to give students literature material they can enjoy reading. 

Comics Sharpen Reading and Analytical Skills 

For a student to improve their reading comprehension, they must first like what they are reading. Comics have long been known to boost a student’s reading abilities to building reading comprehension. On top of that, they encourage analytical thinking. When used as an education tool, a comic book can help teach students how to relate the stories they read to real-life situations. 

Hence, they can find a deeper meaning and message from works of fiction. For instance, by reading about how superheroes face persecution for being different, they can begin to understand the plight of marginalized groups in society. Both reading and analytical skills are essential in all other academic areas. 

Comic Books Boost Students’ Creativity 

Comics is one of the most effective ways of boosting creativity in students. They can, for instance, encourage students who enjoy visual learning and the fictional comics world to focus on their classwork and put their best efforts into it. 

Writing essays can be especially taxing for some students. But by introducing comic books in classroom learning, a student is inspired to think out of the box. Hence, he/ she becomes a more creative essay writer. Overall, they can help students to find inspiration to create their own stories. 

They Can Help Teach Children with Special Needs

Special education and hands-on teaching, though ideal, is not always possible in a school setting and can be prohibitively expensive. But digital tools can help address (to some extent) individual student needs. Comic books are growing popular as a tool for educating students with learning difficulties in what is known as digital comic therapy

Comics are a great way of managing students with severe learning issues. They provide students with a way to express themselves emotionally and even artistically.  

Also, students struggling with anxiety, anger, and self-esteem can become more grounded and confident by immersing themselves in digital comics. Online platforms like Make Belief Comix have come up to help students communicate their ideas and emotions through comic strips. 

They are More Affordable Than Other Books 

Comic books are quite cheap wherever you buy them. They are also quite accessible. Given how low-cost they are, and their widescale availability, it’s unfortunate that not many schools have implemented them. Comics cost a fraction of the price that textbooks go for. So, schools, as well as parents, can afford to buy several of them at a time. 

Improves Student Engagement, Learning Efficiency, and Retention

Comics engage the mind through written words alongside images. They, therefore, keep the reader actively involved in connecting the imagery with the text and making connection in-between scenes. Once engulfed in the story, it’s hard to get distracted or bored. 

This format of conveying information makes it easy for teachers to impact vast amounts of details within a short time. Students can recall the information learned from reading comics longer than that derived from textbooks. Comics can be used as an instruction tool for a variety of subjects, including science, English, and social studies. 

Summary

Comic books are definitely a great source of entertainment. And, when incorporated into learning, they help to improve interest, engagement, and information retention. There are numerous other benefits that comic books can bring to education and so, students, educators, as well as parents, should consider using them as a regular tool. 

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